January 28, 2023

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– Great potential. – H 24

Several new foreign investors enter the Norwegian hydrogen company Hystar. Within two years, the company will start producing a device necessary for separating hydrogen from water.

This illustration shows the Hystar hydrogen technology test pilot plant in Kårstø. The plant is installed in four containers.
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– We believe Hystar’s unique technology has great potential, says Toshihiro Hayashi in a press release.

He is the Director of the Mineral Resources Department of the Japanese giant Mitsubishi, one of the investors in the Norwegian company, which is just over two years old.

The technology involved is called an electrolyzer. It’s a device the world needs more of if it is to produce enough hydrogen to fuel, among other things, ships.

The European Union estimated that electrolyzer production would have to increase tenfold to meet Europe’s need for hydrogen.

Hystar, with offices in Høvik in Bærum, developed and patented a version of this device that has attracted international attention.

The device is currently under testing. But with the latest investment in the company, management hopes to begin commercial production in 2025.

Hystar was founded in the fall of 2020. Director Fredrik Mawell has now earned NOK 260 million.

Money from Belgium and Asia

The company earned another $26 million, just under 260 million kroner. The money comes from new and old investors.

British capital fund AP Ventures, the second largest shareholder, was pivotal in the capital injection with Mitsubishi.

Belgian finance company Finindus, Japanese Nippon Steel Trading, Singapore-based Hillhouse Investment and Chinese Trustbridge Partners are also participating. So do existing investors like Sintef Ventures and Firda. The latter is behind the founder of the Gear Four series.

– We are pleased to close the financing round with such strong industrial and financial investors, who can contribute to further our growth, says Director Frederic Moyle at Hystar.

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Doubles the number of employees

Hystar technology is based on Sintef research, and is now being tested in Kårstø, in connection with a pilot project in collaboration with Equinor and Gassco.

When the company has a production line, the electrolyser will be assembled at the production premises in Høvik in Bærum.

– Today we have 30 employees and expect to double in the next two years, says Director of Marketing and Communications Leila Asdal Danielsen.

The recipe is a thinner film

What sets Hystar electrolyzer apart is its energy consumption. Producing pure hydrogen requires a lot of electricity, and the Hystar device will likely be able to reduce energy use by 10 percent compared to other devices of this type.

The key to reducing energy consumption was the use of a thinner film. This membrane keeps the electrodes, the metal conductors, separate.

It has a membrane that is 90 percent thinner than a regular electrolyzer. The company says it can produce up to 150 percent green hydrogen.

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